The film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is out today, so what better way to celebrate than to show you this frankly brilliant styled shoot and accompanying short film from wedding planners Revelry. There’s a lot of inspiration to be had here, even though it features the undead! I’m particularly in love with the flowers. Such drama!!
The Story of the Shoot
When the first trailer for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies dropped, we knew we had to use it as inspiration for a styled shoot. Call us products of the Buffy generation, but give us a kick-ass heroine and an army of the undead and we’re happier than on an afternoon of cake tasting.
We found Chandos House to be the perfect venue pretty quickly. The long sweeping staircase, the grand rooms, and the mezzanine overlooking the stairs gave us the perfect setting for photographs and film.
Having previously worked with the very talented Brett Harkness, he was brought into the fold to photograph the shoot. Seemingly nothing is impossible for this man, as he worked with the fast-changing light (note to self: don’t organise another styled shoot on the shortest day of the year), and started rumours amongst the local neighbourhood that the next Brit horror flick was on its way to cinemas soon by shooting incredible film poster style photos in front of Chandos House.
But that’s not all; we also worked with the super talented Ayla Akdemir from Wagtail Productions. Ayla comes from a film and TV background, so she drew on that experience to put a narrative into the styled shoot, explaining:
“When I film weddings, I like to adapt a reportage approach, but I do like to plan shots as well, visualising the whole day ahead of time so I can capture those lovely natural moments, but also tell the story of the couple. For this shoot however, I didn’t just rely on my visualising ahead of time, I storyboarded the shoot and left room for fluidity, which worked because the whole team ended up devising a different ending on the day.
“I looked at camera language in various horror movies and applied that to strengthen the narrative. I used low angles to show dominance, raw handheld camera work to emphasise the drama in places. With the colour grade, I wanted it to be a cool palette, but with soft warm greys and chalky purples in the shadows, to complement the bridesmaid dress, make-up and flowers.”
We knew we wanted to create a gothic romance look for the shoot, so we picked deep reds and pinks to bring this to life and used lots of candelabras! The traditional place settings and dinner set-up was a nod to the regency era of the film, as was the style of the invitations and the cake. We kept the bride more modern with two different looks – a bad-ass mix of separates and a contemporary dress with a beautiful train (perfect for sweeping stairs) and romantic veil.
Photographer, Brett, added:
“This was an awesome project to work on with Revelry Events. Styled shoots are always great fun and a chance to let your hair down! If I had any!
“I knew straight away that shooting alongside the wonderful Ayla from Wagtail was going to be a great experience, but I also realised that my narrative was going to have to be different from the video in order for us both to get the shots we needed. Working with my team, we used different lighting techniques to bring out the best in the characters and put our own twist on things. A great day and wonderful results!”
Organisation and styling – Revelry Events
Photography – Brett Harkness Photography
Videography – Wagtail Productions
Flowers – Wild Renata Flowers by Lara Sanjar
Dresses and veils – Halfpenny London
Bridesmaid’s dress – Watters
Linen and table setting – Options
Cake – GC Couture
Stationery – Judy Broad
Shoes – Freya Rose
Venue – Chandos House